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Unraveled's Profile

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Cheap Party Attendees

I have given up at my current workplace's annual Christmas time potluck too. My previous workplace enjoyed a good homemade dish (which was usually Korean). Not this one. They prefer fast-food fried chicken too. I've given up now and don't bother cooking for this event.

This Christmas I think I'll just provide the drinks/cups.

Sep 10, 2013
Unraveled in Not About Food

Ice Cream: Thoughts on Cones

I'm a boring adult, and I get it in a cup. I'll occasionally eat a waffle cone or the regular cone, but that's pretty rare. Cones are messy for me because I'm not a fast eater.

I do hate those cheap cones. They have the flat bottoms, and taste like nothing.

Jun 20, 2013
Unraveled in General Topics

NoVA -- best Warehouse Club for food? Sam's-- Costco-- BJ's-- Any OTHERS?

I live closer to the Fairfax area locations (Costco, Super HMart, Lottem and Wegmans), and I find all to be super busy on the weekends. If I need to shop there on the weekends, I go right before 11am or around dinner time. Costco and the Korean supermarkets do great samples, but it's just way too crowded.

May 23, 2013
Unraveled in Washington DC & Baltimore

The Single Most Underrated Dish

The fresh stuff is infinitely better than the prepackaged ones at the supermarket.

I've actually enjoyed it uncooked ("raw") in salads before.

I also do a bibimbap of pan-fried tofu strips, egg strips, and soy sauce.

May 22, 2013
Unraveled in General Topics

The Single Most Underrated Dish

I like to do this with fresh rice, soy sauce, and a raw egg. So delicious.

May 22, 2013
Unraveled in General Topics

The Single Most Overrated Dish

Are they particularly expensive? I think those cupcake places sell them for $5 a pop (and they're not that big).

May 22, 2013
Unraveled in General Topics

Would you want to dine like this?

I am deathly afraid of heights. So that would be a big fat no!

I don't care how good the food is. I wouldn't even do it they paid me.

May 22, 2013
Unraveled in Food Media & News
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The Single Most Overrated Dish

I feel like the cupcake "boom" has spurred the love of red velvet to the masses. I've seen co-workers drool over red velvet cupcakes. I don't see the fuss either.

May 22, 2013
Unraveled in General Topics

What is your absolute favorite dish from your cultural heritage?

I don't think I have one savory favorite. I love samgaetang (chicken ginseng soup) or seolleongtang (beef bone soup) in the winters (though the ginseng soup is supposed to be good for you in the summer). I'm always up for a bowl of bibimbap.

And even though I don't eat it as a sole side dish, I can't live without the varities of kimchi. I find it essential when I'm eating something fatty (like meat).

Not that many desserts in Korean food except fruit and the gazillion varieties of rice cakes. My favorite rice cake is yakshik (sweetened rice with chestnuts, jujubes, etc). My mom also makes the best shikae, a sweet rice drink.

May 20, 2013
Unraveled in General Topics
1

Monkfish in Baltimore?

I've bought from them and Lotte Plaza too. Usually they will sell the heads and the body separately (at different prices). I've found out that the heads at Hmart are more meaty than Lotte.

Mar 01, 2013
Unraveled in Washington DC & Baltimore

Kimchee for Novices

I like to eat with heavy meats (beef, pork) to cut down the heaviness and fattiness.

Old kimchi (when it really starts to stink) is great in kimchee fried rice, kimchee stew, and kimchee "pancake."

Mar 01, 2013
Unraveled in Home Cooking

Birthday meal - what's your favorite?

I don't think I have a favorite food. Last year I went on vacation to Maine and had lobster and blueberries. That was yum.

I usually like to have a Korean-style sweet potato cake. (It's better than it sounds. I like it better than a traditional American cake because it's less sweet.)

Feb 07, 2013
Unraveled in General Topics

Costco Food Finds- 1st quarter 2013

Dried Organic Calimyrna Figs. I think they're "Made in Nature" brand and sold in other stores. A big pack was less than $10 ($9.xx). This was purchased in Fairfax VA. It was in one of the side displays rather than inside the aisles.

No added sugar. VERY sweet. It paired perfectly with some excellent grass fed milk from Whole Foods.

It also said that I needed to refrigerate after opening. (It was with the other dried fruits.)

Jan 10, 2013
Unraveled in Chains

Todai in Fair Oaks- Any thoughts?

I've only been to the one in Fair Oaks Mall. It's definitely deteriorated over the years. I've been to them around 5 times in the past 6-7 years. It wasn't bad when I first went. A little expensive, but a lot of variety and everything seemed fresh enough.

I went about a year ago, and it was definitely worse. The rice to fish ratio grew, and I felt like the selections were less. I don't plan to go to there again.

Jan 09, 2012
Unraveled in Washington DC & Baltimore

Are you seeing grocery stores moving away from self check-outs?

When they did the test in Fairfax VA, there were conveyer belts. Perhaps the newer non-conveyer belt self checkout kept the people who had many items away. (Making it more of it an express self checkout.)

Jun 14, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

Are you seeing grocery stores moving away from self check-outs?

For the few months it was there, it was pure heaven. I don't buy a lot of items on one trip so I hated waiting in the long lines where everyone else had a cart full of stuff.

I just avoid the peak hours (basically weekends when they do the samples).

Jun 14, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

Creative Supermarket Signs

I frequent the Korean supermarkets in the DC area. This is too common (though most are spelling and grammar errors). Whoever does the copyediting is clearly not proficient in English.

Jun 14, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

Are you seeing grocery stores moving away from self check-outs?

I've seen these self-checkout lanes at Shoppers Food Warehouse. There's a conveyer belt on it.

Apr 22, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

Are you seeing grocery stores moving away from self check-outs?

I wish my area Costcos had some. I usually buy less than 5 items at Costco. The Fairfax VA Costco had self-checkout lines for a short period of time. I loved it! They removed it for reasons unknown.

Apr 22, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

Do you use a lunchbox?

I have a glass lock&lock type (silicone seal) container that I use for foods that I'll heat up in the microwave at work. It's also good for foods that will stain the plastic containers I have.

My insulated bag is a plain igloo thing I got from Target. I'd like to upgrade, but not sure what size will work.

Apr 13, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

So many coupon sites (see below). Do you use them?

Restaurant coupons: I don't dine out much. I've used coupons in chain restaurants with success. I haven't tried them in single restaurants because I feared that the service and/or quality would be less with coupons/groupon deals.

Grocery store coupons: I only do them during super double/triple bonus weeks at Harris Teeter. I usually throw most of the coupons away. For online computer sites, I do the ones with the bar codes that limit the print to 2 per computer. I have a b&w laser printer, so printing costs are limited.

Apr 13, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

College Dorm Cooking Facilities

I went to a private college situated in a small town in the early 2000s. I lived in a dorm room all 4 years.

Freshmen were mandated with a full meal plan (3 a day), so I didn't do much cooking. There was a communal kitchen in my last two residence halls. I kept a small pan and pot, but didn't use the communal kitchen much.

Every year I had a microwave and small fridge. I also had a coffeemaker and an illegal rice cooker. After freshman year, I did the minimal required dining package. I survived using the rice cooker and microwave for most of my meals. My meals weren't great, but it was better than the dining hall food.

Mar 23, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

College Dorm Cooking Facilities

Both places seem like great places to me. It really depends on the school and the residential halls in the school, doesn't it?

Mar 23, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

What do you HATE about your kitchen?

I will agree with you on lack of a proper ventilation hood. My parents moved into their second home 7 years ago, and the new(er) house has a ventilation hood that leads to the outside. It's loud, but sucks up most of the smell to the outside.

My dream home would have this feature.

Mar 16, 2011
Unraveled in Not About Food

Food Scars - Things you will never eat again.

It must have been a bad batch. I've had plenty of them. The seasonings ferment the raw fish so that it lasts longer. I've purchased a small container (usually clams) and it's lasted me throughout the week.

Oct 05, 2010
Unraveled in Not About Food

Food Scars - Things you will never eat again.

Same thing happened too me with raw oysters at a Chinese buffet place. I still eat it though, just not at cheap places. I had a plate of raw oysters (at a well known seafood place) a few months after.

I love seafood too much to let that bout of food poisoning ruin it for me. Thankfully, I was only sick for a few days.

On the other hand, I haven't knowingly had watermelon for 15+ years. I got food poisoning from that, but that bout lasted about 2-3 weeks, including a trip to the hospital.

Sep 02, 2010
Unraveled in Not About Food

Five Super Supermarkets

I stay away from the beef in Korean markets because they entirely too much red dye (or whatever they do to meat to make it red to look "fresh").

I can't afford the organic meat everyday, so I stick with Wegman's/Costco's if I can plan ahead.

Jun 10, 2010
Unraveled in Washington DC & Baltimore

Five Super Supermarkets

Ethnic [Korean] Supermarkets:
The Super H-Mart in Fairfax is vastly superior to the ones in Annandale and Falls Church. (The Falls Church one has gotten better since the slight "makeover.") The layout in the "new" Annandale location is just awkward, and the check-out lines are too short.
The new Chantilly Lotte is amazing, but the closer to me Fairfax one is still pretty good.

I use Korean supermarkets for the produce, seafood, and Korean-specific ingredients. I avoid buying beef and chicken because there are just too many chemicals in them. (Cheaper than conventional supermarkets, but still similar quality.) I like to buy meats in Costco (or Wegmans) if available.

I only go to Harris Teeter during their double/triple coupon events.

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H-Mart
800 N Rolling Rd, Catonsville, MD

May 13, 2010
Unraveled in Washington DC & Baltimore

Clipping Coupons...saved me $3k last year!

I've rarely had issues with using the internet-printed coupons that had invididual barcodes on them. (You have to download an applet for this to print correctly.) You get to print 2 coupons per computer. They do track you by IP and will probably ban you if you attempt to use a photocopied coupon.

coupons.com, bricks, smartsource, etc all use this sort of technology.

Some of the supermarkets do not take coupons that offer something for free (buy 1, get 1 free).

I've used these coupons at all the major supermarkets and drugstores.

Feb 01, 2010
Unraveled in Not About Food

Clipping Coupons...saved me $3k last year!

Tip: you can also use a regular coupon in conjunction with the "internet loyalty" ones. The "ideal" way is to scan the items, scan the coupons, and THEN scan in your loyalty card.

Shortcuts coupon: $.50 off
Regular coupon: $.50 off

Total amount is $1.00 off purchase (more if your stores doubles/triples the regular coupon).

Feb 01, 2010
Unraveled in Not About Food